August 29, 2013 - 9:30am

Students refused to let rain dampen their spirits during Vancouver Island University’s new student orientation Thursday, Aug. 29.

More than 700 first year students from across Canada and around the world danced in the rain, toured the campus and met and mingled with classmates and faculty in preparation for the first day of classes Sept. 3.

“It was an amazing day,” says Joanna Hesketh, Coordinator in VIU’s Office of Enrolment Management and a member of the committee organizing the orientation event. “Orientation is a chance for students to connect to each other. Our main focus was for students to have fun and get connected to other students in their program areas, to their university and faculty.”

Students spent the day learning about the University and what it offers through a fun Adventure Tour or Café Tour, led by an enthusiastic group of VIU student ambassadors.

Activities, games, prize giveaways, a free barbecue , and a DJ sponsored by VIU Students’ Union rounded out a full day of orientation. Students also learned about a variety of campus activities, clubs, and opportunities that can enrich their university experience.

Taelar Kier of Nanaimo says she’s looking forward to starting the Bachelor of Nursing program next week and playing for the VIU Mariners women’s basketball team.

“I chose Nursing because it’s only a four-year program and I’m basically guaranteed a job,” she says. “Also I can live at home and save money.”
Rachid Gharib from Morocco is excited to be starting VIU’s one-year post grad business diploma program. “I want to enrich my level of business in general and in Human Resource management specifically,” he says. “I arrived last February to take a seven-week English as a second language class. It was a great program and I learned so much. I already have a bachelor degree in linguistics from a university in Morocco, with a specialization in Arabic, French and English. My hope is that the post-degree diploma will help me get into VIU’s MBA program.”

Gharib heard about VIU from friends and former VIU students in Morocco who already graduated from the MBA program. “They now have great jobs in Casablanca,” he says. “They told me that Nanaimo is a great place to study and live. I’m really looking forward to meeting other students while living a Canadian experience.”

Vagn Moore of Quesnel will begin first year in VIU’s jazz diploma program. “One of my friends took the program and recommended it,” says Moore. “I’m looking forward to meeting new musicians and learning as much as I can.”

Rory Shaw from Capetown, South Africa, will start VIU’s Hospitality Management program next week. “I’m looking forward to the lifestyle on Vancouver Island, especially being able to ski and surf. I choose VIU because I wanted a really great international experience in a beautiful location.”

Hesketh adds that the new student orientation was a huge success largely due to the efforts of 55 student ambassador volunteers – current and former VIU students. “They brought energy and enthusiasm to the day and made it fun for everyone,” she says. “We can’t thank them enough.”

For photos taken at the new student orientation go to


Janina Stajic, Manager, Vancouver Island University
P: 250.740.6288 E: Twitter: @VIUNews

Tags: In the Community

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